Elementary School STEPWISE

Promoting Civic Actions in Elementary Schools


As described in the video at right (below on phones), teachers can use the STEPWISE framework for lessons and activities to help students to gain expertise, confidence & motivation for eventually self-directing research-informed & negotiated action (RiNA) projects to overcome harms of their concern in relationships among science & technology and societies & environments (STSE). Further details and samples of student work are provided below.

We are currently collaborating with teachers to develop & share ‘classroom-ready’ teaching & learning resources for elementary school classes based on the STEPWISE framework. We plan to post examples of such resources on this page.

Phases of the STEPWISE Pedagogy

Students Reflect

Teacher Teaches

Students Practise

Sample Elementary School Student RiNA Projects

STEPWISE With Students in a Grade 3/4 Class

It has been most common for secondary school teachers of science to use the STEPWISE framework to educate students so they can independently design & carry out effective RiNA projects to help overcome harms in STSE relationships. Some elementary school teachers have had some successes with this, though, when collaborating with members of our action research team. In the video at right, for example, students in a combined grade 3&4 class were able to conduct such projects when the teacher collaborated with a local curriculum coach. A copy of their negotiated lesson plan set is provided here.

STEPWISE in a Grade 6 French Language Learning Class

As shown in the two videos here, students in grade 6 (French Language Learning) in an ‘elite’ private school were able, after reading about hardships endured by Iqbal Masih (also at right) and his later role as child labour activist, to develop educational videos to enlighten people about issues of child labour regarding common commodities. Students worked in groups of three to conduct secondary (e.g., Internet searches) & primary (e.g., surveys of families’, friends’ & neighbours’ knowledge & attitudes) research regarding child labour linked to particular commodities. Our research suggested these elite students seemed to develop strong feelings of empathy for children of their age who happened to be born into much less advantaged contexts.

Child Labour & Coffee Beans

Child Labour & Soccer Balls